Brief Introduction to Vietnam Religions and Beliefs

Besides popular beliefs, Vietnam also has some major religions such as Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Caodaism and Hoahaoism…

Buddhism
Buddhism was introduced to Vietnam from the 2nd century. Ly dynasty (11th century) was the peak periods of Buddhism and was regarded as orthodox ideology. Buddhism was widely spread over the country and had a profound influence to social life, left many imprints in cultural life and architecture. Many temples and towers were built during this period.
At the end of the 14th century, Buddhism partly overshadowed, but the thought of Buddhism still affected to social life and activities of Vietnamese people. Currently, the number of Buddhists and follow Buddhism is over 70% of the national population.

Monks in procession festivals on the street.

Monks in Buddism festivals on the street.

Catholicism
Being introduced to Vietnam in the 17th century, the home to many Christian believers in Vietnam is now the Bui Chu – Phat Diem (Ninh Binh province) and the Ho Nai – Bien Hoa (Dong Nai Province). The number of Christians accounted for over 5 million people.

Protestantism
Protestantism was introduced to Vietnam in 1911, but less common. Currently, Protestant gathers primarily in central highlands of Vietnam. In Hanoi, There is a church of Protestantism in Hang Da Street. The number of Protestant believers is over 400 thousand people.

Islam
Islam was introduced to Vietnam early. Most Muslims are Cham people in central Vietnam, there are over 60 thousand people.

Caodaism
Tay Ninh Holy See Temple is the central of religious people in the South. The number of Caodaism followers is over 2 million people.

Holy See Temple in Tay Ninh.

Holy See Temple in Tay Ninh.

Hoahaoism
Hoahaoism was introduced to Vietnam in 1939. The number of religious believers is over 1 million people, mostly in the southwest of Vietnam.

Traditional beliefs of worship Mother Goddesses
In the spiritual life of Vietnamese people, there has been existed in many different forms of beliefs and religions. Vietnamese people worship their ancestors, tutelary of the village, Buddha, the Gods, the heroes of the country… especially Mother Goddesses.
Worshiping Mother Goddesses derived from worshiping ancient god and goddess of mountains, forests, rivers and water. After that, the Mother Goddesses were worshiped in the temple and always placed in the most prominent place. Worshiping Mother Goddesses originated in the North and traveled to the South to integrate with the goddesses of local: Goddess Thien Y A Na (Hue), Goddess Linh Son (Tay Ninh).
In fact, worshiping Mother Goddesses formed with the integration of multiple forms of other religions. Nowadays, folk beliefs are valued, therefore many temples has been restored and comes into operation.

Mother Goddesses worshiping in Vietnam.

Traditional beliefs of worshiping Mother Goddesses in Vietnam.

Extra reading about religions and beliefs in Vietnam or Vietnam travel guide here.

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